Scam Email – TV Licence Warning


It’s time to add another message to my list of email scams. This is one that I received yesterday, and I know at least one of my Facebook friends has also received it.

This email threatens action if you don’t pay the overdue balance on your TV Licence, But it’s blatantly fake if you look out for the usual signs, including the From address, the link address they want you to click on, and the general wording of the email. So let’s check it out.

Email

TV Licensing Scam

From: TV Licensing[GB] Official Website (info@bekkoame-hp.com)

To: My email address

Subject: Your TVLicensing will expire tonight – please renew now.

Message:

Notification from your bank: We declined the latest Direct Debit payment.

Dear Customer,

Your 10-digit TVLicensing Number is: 1085385212.
Your TVLicensing will expire tonight – please renew now.

You must renew your licence quickly and easily online.
Either pay it all in one go with a debit or credit card, or spread the cost with a Direct Debit.

Don’t risk becoming unlicensed.
————————
Your TVLicensing details:
————————

TVLicensing Number: 1085385212
TVLicensing Expiry Date: 15 April 2019
Overdue balance of: £12.00

If you don’t keep up with your payments, we may be forced to cancel your licence or pass your details to a debt collection agency.

*******************************************************

Please Update your Details Now – just go to the link below:

[Link – Update TV Licensing Now]

*******************************************************
Thank you
TV Licensing Email Team
If you have sight problems, you can get this information in Braille, large print or audio by calling 0300 790 6056.
If you’re deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired, you can use ourtextphone facility by calling 0300 790 6070.
TVLicensing plc 2019. We’re registered in England at 85 Newgate Street, London EC2A 7AJ (company number 18000007).

TV.10 LD-CFL-EN-05-16

Analysis

Although this email looks official at a glance, it’s very easy to pick it apart.

First, it’s worth noting that the genuine TV Licensing website address is https://www.tvlicensing.co.uk – something to bear in mind when looking through the email here.

From: TV Licensing[GB] Official Website (info@bekkoame-hp.com)

The name “TV Licensing[GB] Official Website” isn’t right for a start, as they wouldn’t bother with the “[GB] Official Website” part. Furthermore, when you click on the name to reveal the address, you can see it’s from info@bekkoame-hp.com, which is clearly nothing to do with TV Licensing

Real emails from TV Licensing will always come from donotreply@tvlicensing.co.uk.

Subject: Your TVLicensing will expire tonight – please renew now.

This subject line is using a fear tactic to make you panic and act quickly without thinking. But the TV Licensing people would obviously give you a lot more warning than a few hours if there were an issue getting payments from you.

Their use of “TVLicensing”, without a space between “TV” and “Licensing”, is also very odd. And it comes up throughout the message. The official TV Licensing company never write it like that, they always include the space.

Dear Customer,

Any email about my TV Licence would address me by name, because they have that information about me already. The fact that I’m merely called a customer therefore proves it’s a generic email, not one directed at me personally. Really clever scammers might be able to address you by name, so you can’t always rely on that alone. But these guys aren’t that smart, evidently.

TV Licensing emails always address you by name, unless you’ve told them you don’t need a licence and didn’t provide a name. But then, if you don’t have a licence, you wouldn’t get an email like this in the first place, so it still wouldn’t make sense to you.

Your 10-digit TVLicensing Number is: 1085385212.

This gives you the perfect opportunity to check your actual licence document to see if the number matches. Surprise, surprise, this isn’t our licence number.

Please Update your Details Now – just go to the link below:

Update TV Licensing Now

Grammatically this section is a bit odd. In “Please Update your Details Now”, every word starts with a capital letter except for “your”, which looks wrong. And in the text for the link, it feels like “Update TV Licence Now” (rather than “Licensing”) would make more sense.

Most importantly though, hovering over the link shows that it’s pointing to http://kingscup.co/pmdiskusageccrds. That’s clearly nothing to do with TV Licensing, and is completely different to the From address as well. So don’t click on it or give any information.

If you have sight problems, you can get this information in Braille, large print or audio by calling 0300 790 6056.
If you’re deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired, you can use ourtextphone facility by calling 0300 790 6070.
TVLicensing plc 2019. We’re registered in England at 85 Newgate Street, London EC2A 7AJ (company number 18000007).

Although the footer text looks official, with phone numbers and an address, the real TV Licensing Contact Page contains none of those details. Also notice the missing spaces in “ourtextphone facility” and “TVLicensing” (again). Searching for the company number on Google or Companies House comes up blank as well.

Many scammers will copy a real footer from a real email, which will have genuine contact details. So it’s not a definitive means of assessment. But it happens to give further proof of a scam in this case, even though we already knew it by this point.

Conclusion

This is a typical scam where you’re pressured into taking action quickly to avoid getting into some of kind of trouble. If you’re ever worried about emails like that, never click any links, write to email addresses or call phone numbers provided in the message. Always find the official website yourself and contact them via the phone number, email address or contact form provided there. They can quickly tell you if it’s a scam or not then.

The TV Licensing Email Scam Page provides more detail about what to look out for, and explains what an official TV Licensing email will really look like. So please do familiarise with that information. And as always, stay vigilant!

Author: Glen

Love London, love a laugh, love life. Visually impaired blogger & Youtuber with aniridia & nystagmus, posting about my experiences & adventures.

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